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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 51:63

 

 

"And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates,

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book,.... To the captive Jews; and having also said the above words by way of prayer and approbation:

that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates; a river by which Babylon was situated. The book, being read, was to be rolled up again, and then a stone tied to it, and cast into the middle of the river, where the waters were deepest, and from whence it could not be taken up; and this was a sign confirming the above prophecy; compare with this what was done by a mighty angel concerning mystical Babylon, in which there is an allusion to this, Revelation 18:21.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-51.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it shall be, when thou hast finished reading this book, [that] thou shalt bind a l stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

(l) John in his Revelation alludes to this place when he says that the angel took a millstone and cast it into the sea: signifying by it the destruction of Babylon, (Revelation 18:21).

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-51.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

bind a stone, etc. — (Revelation 18:21). So the Phoceans in leaving their country, when about to found Marseilles, threw lead into the sea, binding themselves not to return till the lead should swim.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-51.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

He afterwards adds, And when thou hast made an end of reading, thou shalt tie a stone to it and cast it into the Euphrates, and shalt say, Thus sink shall Babylon Here is added an external symbol to confirm the faith of Seraiah. We must yet bear in mind, that this was not said to Seraiah for his own sake alone, but that the people might also know, that the king’s messenger, who had been sent for the sake of conciliating, was also the messenger of God and of the Prophet, who might have otherwise been despised by the people. When, therefore, the faithful knew this, they were in no ordinary way confirmed in the truth of the prophecy. Jeremiah, then, not only consulted the benefit of Seraiah alone, but that of all the godly; for though this was unknown for a long time, yet the messenger afterwards acknowledged that this command had been given him by Jeremiah, and that he took the book and cast it into the Euphrates. This, then, was given as a confirmation to all the godly.

As to the symbols by which God sealed the prophecies in former times, we have spoken elsewhere; I therefore pass them by slightly now: only we ought to bear in mind this one thing, that these signs were only temporary sacraments; for ordinary sacraments are permanent, as the holy supper and baptism. But the sign mentioned here was temporary, and referred, as they say, to a special action: it yet had the force and character of a sacrament, as to its use, the confirmation of this prophecy. Seraiah was then bidden to tie a stone to the book, and then to cast it into the Euphrates: why so? that the volume might not swim on the surface of the water, but be sunk down to the bottom; and the application follows, Thou shalt say, etc. We see that words ought ever to be connected with signs. We hence conclude how fatuous the Papists are, who practice many ceremonies, but without knowledge. They are, indeed, dead and empty things, whatever signs men may devise for themselves, except God’s word be added. Thou shalt then say, Thus sink shall Babylon, and shall not rise from the evil which I shall bring upon her In short, Seraiah was commanded, as the Prophet’s messenger, to predict by himself concerning the fall of Babylon; but it was for the sake of all the godly, who were afterwards taught what had been done. (114)

The emendator, Houbigant, proposes to read the word, ויספו, “and they shall come to an end.” This agrees nearly with the Targ. , “and they shall fail.” — Ed


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-51.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 51:63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, [that] thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

Ver. 63. Thou shalt bind a stone to it.] See the like symbol or chria, Revelation 18:21, where, by the mighty angel, Alcazar understandeth the prophet Jeremiah.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-51.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 51:63. Thou shalt bind a stone to it, &c.— The prophets, as we have seen, frequently gave sensible representations of judgments which they foretold. The present was a sufficient and striking emblem of Babylon's sinking irrecoverably under the judgments here denounced against her. This threatening was in a literal sense fulfilled by Cyrus's breaking down the head or dam of the great lake, which was on the west side of the city, in order to turn the current of the river that way; for no care being afterwards taken to repair the breach, the whole country round it was overflowed. See Isaiah 14:23. Houbigant ends the 64th verse with the words I will bring upon her; and reads the last clause thus, Here the words of Jeremiah are ended, which plainly shews that the next chapter was added by the person who collected this prophecy into a volume, who most probably was Ezra. See the note on the first verse of that chapter.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, For the comfort of God's people, and the confusion of his enemies, the destruction of Babylon is at large insisted on.

1. God sends forth and commissions the Medes and Persians to destroy that proud city: like a whirlwind they shall sweep the earth, and scatter the Chaldeans as chaff, killing all who dared resist them, without mercy or pity. The Persian standard is erected, and multitudes flock to it, thick as the caterpillars or locusts cover the ground; for when God hath work to do, instruments shall never be wanting.

2. Notwithstanding all the former might of this famed city, it shall now be weak, and unable to resist. Once God had clothed her with strength, and, as his battle-ax, sent her to break in pieces the nations, their forces, and all their inhabitants small and great; but now in vain they prepare their weapons of war, and furbish their armour, rusty with long peace: in vain they erect their standard, and summon their soldiers to attend, to guard the walls, or prepare an ambush for their enemies. Their courage is utterly gone, they are become as timorous as women, and fall without resistance; so easily can God, when he sends his terrors forth, make cowards of the bravest.

3. The provocation that Babylon had given was great: her sins cried to heaven for vengeance. [1.] They have risen up against me, in daring rebellion against God, and defiance of his power. [2.] Babylon is a golden cup, that made all the earth drunken with her wrath; or, she hath been the head seat of idolatry, and the great temptress to all the nations over whom her power extended; by force or fraud engaging them to partake of her abominations, and, like her, become mad upon idols. [3.] Her incorrigibleness: We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. The faithful among the Jews that dwelt there would have turned them from their idolatries, but they were hardened in them. Though this may also be understood of her auxiliary forces, who in vain attempted to rescue her from ruin, her time to fall being come. [4.] Her covetousness was insatiable, grasping still at farther conquests and spoils. [5.] Her tyranny over God's people: as a dragon, Nebuchadrezzar had swallowed and devoured them; broke all their bones as a lion; and emptied them of all that was valuable; for which violence and bloodshed, the inhabitants of Zion imprecate just vengeance upon their ravagers; and these appeals of God's oppressed people shall not be long unanswered.

4. God in just judgment brings on Babylon the terrible ruin that she has provoked by her sin against the Holy One of Israel. He will plead the cause of his distressed people, who seemed to be deserted and forsaken, and will take vengeance for them. The time is fixed, when the wrongs of Zion shall be requited; and God's people shall see the day when Babylon shall fall as the slain of Israel, who fell by her sword. And this is the work of the Lord, and to be declared in Zion to his praise, vindicating his people's cause, and with a mighty and out-stretched arm punishing their foes. He hath sworn their destruction and is fully able to execute his threatenings, being the almighty Lord, the maker and governor of all, whom heaven and earth obey, and against whom the Babylonish idols can avail nothing; as he had before declared, chap. Jeremiah 10:12-16 where the very same expressions are used. When this Lord of Hosts arises, sure desolation marks his way: Babylon is fallen, though now in all her pride: since God hath pronounced her doom, it is as sure as if already executed. The waters on which she dwelt shall afford her no defence, their course being diverted, and her rivers dried up by the besiegers; nor her treasures protect her, when her time is come. Though strong as a mountain, and late the destroyer of the nations, she is now made a threshing-floor, where all her inhabitants should be beaten in pieces. From year to year the rumour comes of the vast preparations made by the Persians; at last they approach; a battle ensues; the Babylonians are routed, and driven within their walls, nor can these protect them; while there secure they revel, sudden their enemies enter through the bed of the river, and surprise them in their drunken feast. Swift flies the dreadful news; messenger upon messenger informs the affrighted king that his city is taken, the passages seized, and resistance vain. The houses are on fire, the bars of the gates broken: roaring at their impious carousal, and drunken, they are slain, and lie down to wake no more, slaughtered as easily as sheep. Deluged by the army of the Persians breaking in like the waves of the sea, and utterly desolate, the land becomes a wilderness, the cities uninhabited, their gods falling in the common ruin, and, so far from helping their votaries, that they are unable to defend themselves. Yea, so entirely demolished shall these proud walls be, the wonder of the world, on which several chariots might strive abreast, that there should not be a stone left fit for any use; her gates burnt with fire, the very foundations razed; and every attempt to repair these desolations for ever fruitless.

5. The people of God are warned to flee when they see the ruin approaching, that they may not be involved in it, nor overwhelmed with the terror of the destroying enemy, and gladly to accept the offer of liberty which Cyrus shall proclaim to them. They who had escaped the sword of the Chaldeans, reserved in mercy for such a time, must haste away to their own land. They are called to remember the Lord afar off, in the land of their captivity, and to think of Jerusalem, the city of their solemnities, with eager longing to return thither, notwithstanding its present desolate state; at which they had been confounded, ashamed to think of their abominations, which had provoked God to give up his sanctuary to the profanation of the heathen. But God now hath avenged their quarrel and his own, and condignly punished the Chaldeans and their gods, over whom Israel now may triumph. Note; (1.) When we know that the wrath of God is revealed against a world lying in wickedness, it is our wisdom to come out from among them, and be separate. (2.) In whatever state of affliction or distress we are, it is our duty, and will be our comfort, to think upon God, and remember his faithfulness, mercy, and truth.

6. According to their several interests, those who hear of Babylon's fall will be greatly affected. Some with astonishment and deep concern behold her sudden fall, and with an exceeding great and bitter cry bewail her desolations; others shall rejoice in it, yea, the very heaven and the earth shall sing, giving praise to God for avenging the blood of his saints, and for the recovery of his people from captivity. Throughout the whole description, if we compare Revelation 18 with this chapter, we shall see the strongest resemblance in the expressions; and as now this proud city, here devoted to ruin, has been for many ages desolate, according to the prophetic word; so surely shall Babylon mystical, the city of Rome, and the tyranny of popery, be destroyed, when God's time of vengeance comes.

2nd, The prophesy concerning Babylon was long and terrible. We have,

1. A copy of it written and sent to the captive Jews in Babylon, by Seraiah, a quiet prince in those turbulent times, who was for peace; and it is spoken of to his honour. He went with Zedekiah, as our version renders the words, or was sent from Zedekiah, as his ambassador to Nebuchadrezzar, in the fourth year of his reign, and sixty years before the destruction of Babylon.

2. He is enjoined to read the words of the roll when he came to Babylon, in the presence of the captive Jews, for their encouragement; for, however improbable the event, when they considered that vast city, so populous, and strongly fortified, the accomplishment of God's word was sure. Note; The eye of faith staggers at no difficulties; if God hath promised, that is enough.

3. He must make a solemn profession of his own faith in the truth of what he had read, that it would surely be fulfilled; and then in the presence of the people must tie a stone to the roll, and cast it into the river Euphrates, explaining the sign, that thus should Babylon sink, and not rise up again; wearied out with her plagues, exhausted, and unable to repair her desolations. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah; not that this was the last of his prophesies, but that here the burden of Babylon ends. With still greater magnificence is the fall of Babylon mystical represented, Revelation 18:21.; and when God's final wrath is poured out upon the ungodly, their ruin will be irrecoverable and eternal.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-51.html. 1801-1803.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

63. Bind a stone… cast… into the… Euphrates — Not to destroy the book, but to perfect the symbolism. The stone is not only to make the book sink, but to keep it from rising again, thus betokening the permanent downfall and utter extinction of the greatest city then on the face of the earth.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-51.html. 1874-1909.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(63) Thou shalt bind a stone to it.—The meaning of the symbolic act, which has its parallel in the girdle of Jeremiah 13:1-7, in the potter’s vessel of Jeremiah 19:10, and in the yokes of Jeremiah 27:2, is explained in the following verse. The parchment roll by itself might have floated, and been picked up and read, and so the stone was tied to it that it might sink at once, and thus prefigure the destruction of the city. (Compare the reappearance of the symbols in Revelation 18:21, in connection with the destruction of the mystical Babylon.)


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-51.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
thou shalt bind
This was the emblem of its overthrow and irretrievable ruin; and the same emblem is employed in Re 18:21, to denote the utter ruin of mystical Babylon.
19:10,11; Revelation 18:21

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 51:63". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-51.html.

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